Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

One In Eight Chance of a Financially Catastrophic Solar Storm By 2020

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the movie-rights-already-sold-to-syfy dept.

Space 337

An anonymous reader writes "A privately employed solar scientist named Pete Riley estimates there's a 12 percent chance of a massive solar storm comparable to the Carrington Event in 1859 which resulted in breathtaking aurorae across the United States and other temperate regions of the globe. The electromagnetic surge from the 1859 event caused failures of telegraph systems across Europe and North America. A similar storm today could knock out power grids, GPS and communication satellites, data centers, transportation systems, and building and plumbing infrastructures and wreak $1 trillion or more of economic damage in the first year alone, according to a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What are the chances (5, Interesting)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220649)

that it will happen in 2012?

Re:What are the chances (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220667)

Higher than usual as 2012 is the year of solar maximum.

Re:What are the chances (4, Informative)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220669)

that it will happen in 2012?

12,5%

Re:What are the chances (4, Funny)

DamageLabs (980310) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220689)

Let me just check my Mayan calendar...

Oh yes, there it is.

Re:What are the chances (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221057)

Let me just check my Mayan calendar...

Oh yes, there it is.

Is this a leap year?

Re:What are the chances (4, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221197)

Let me just check my Mayan calendar...

Oh yes, there it is.

Is this a leap year?

Why? Do leap years make you jumpy?

Re:What are the chances (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220697)

((12 - 2)/12) / (2020 - 2012) * 12 % ?

Re:What are the chances (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220801)

7/8, of course.

Re:What are the chances (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220929)

It will happen on 12/12/12

What's much more important is... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220655)

... Can it knock out out my PC and if so how can I protect it?

Re:What's much more important is... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220693)

you must build... an ark, with two of every device

Re:What's much more important is... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220841)

you must build... an ark, with two of every device

I've heard that one of each Apple device will do.

Re:What's much more important is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220877)

you must build... an ark, with two of every device

I've heard that one of each Apple device will do.

Are the hermaphroditic or do they spore?

Re:What's much more important is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221033)

They're willed into being by the divine and righteous might of Saint Jobs. Duh.

Strange... you act like you've never read the Good iBook, anonymous iCitizen. I wonder why that is...

Re:What's much more important is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221083)

Actually if you just purchase the forth coming iArk it will make all the devices you need but of course it will have a battery you can't replace or even access as it will be welded shut and there won't be any Applecare in the post-apocalyptic world but it will be slick. Come to think of it you better get two iArks.

Re:What's much more important is... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220969)

Just need two bits, a true and a false. From that, you can rebuild everything.

Re:What's much more important is... (2, Funny)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221117)

But how will I prevent my Androids trying to attack my Apples? Surely if you put two androids and two apples on the same ark the androids will attempt to eat the apples!

Re:What's much more important is... (5, Insightful)

philip.paradis (2580427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220713)

Make multiple backups of everything you care about, using a mix of different media types. Store your backups in geographically diverse locations, in hardened containers, preferably some of them subterranean. Of course, you're already doing that anyhow, right? Past that, your PC becomes significantly less useful if major communication grids are down/damaged, at least if you like the Internet.

The Problem with Trying to Prepare for This ... (2)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220755)

... Can it knock out out my PC and if so how can I protect it?

It's sort of a slippery slope toward insanity [youtube.com] ...

Re:What's much more important is... (5, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221137)

Yes.

Turn it off when you're not using it and disconnect it from power and communications (eg disconnect the power cord and network cable). Since if something Bad Happened, it's likely going to come in through the AC or in through the DSL/Cable/Sat modem - same as any other power surge.

In these storms, what happens is that long lines (data and power transmission) resonate more or less with the "fun" and so you get powerful AC currents induced into them. The smaller wires in your peripherals and inside the computer are too small (so they resonate too high frequency) and so shouldn't be directly vulnerable. It's those large AC voltages coming in from those long lines that release the magic smoke.

convert to electric, quick! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220695)

Quick! Let's sell our gasoline fuel cars and buy electric cars! That way when the power grid is knocked out we'll be stranded!

Brilliant.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (4, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220751)

Your car is already an electromechanical device. EMP would disable modern gasoline vehicles just as surely as it would electric vehicles.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220939)

Your car is already an electromechanical device. EMP would disable modern gasoline vehicles just as surely as it would electric vehicles.

Which is a big part of the reason I love my old, beat up, carburated pickup.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (5, Interesting)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221015)

There's a lot to be said for contact breaker ignition. Of course, diesels are even better. I've driven a diesel car with no functioning electrical system of any kind (although I don't recommend it due to the absence of brake lights).

The scariest part was getting it started. Yes, sure, it'll push start but until the engine has been running for 15 seconds (big heavy old Citroen CX 25DTR Turbo) there is no hydraulic pressure for the steering or braking system... Better hope the handbrake will stop it before the back wall of the yard does!

Re:convert to electric, quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221301)

And it's why the UK has a large fleet of Morris Minors in cold storage. In case of nuclear war, and a huge EMP, there would still be working cars.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (5, Informative)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221193)

Solar flare != EMP

While the power grid would be knocked out by a massive solar flare, your electric car would be just fine. Unless it happened to be plugged in when the power grid was fried...

Re:convert to electric, quick! (1, Interesting)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221237)

That depends on the type of flare. A charged magnetic emission like the one in the article would likely send enough electrons flying that it would in fact be an EMP.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (5, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221203)

Good thing this storm isn't an EMP effect.

What happens is you get large induced currents/voltages in transmission lines (power, cable etc) which smoke things connected to them. This happens because they resonate with the solar radiation.

Small shit like the wires and traces inside of your car resonates at far too high a frequency for that to happen.

As for GPS etc - those die because they are in orbit, either outside the majority of the earth's EM field's protection - or their path happens to make that same protection their death-sentence as it tends to concentrate the radiation into distinct bands/layers.

The sun would still be the sun, and the GPS satellite would be the ant. The earth's EM field would be the magnifying glass. Poof.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221253)

A magnetic pulse should induce voltage on pretty much any wire though, or am I wrong?

Re:convert to electric, quick! (2)

Endimiao (471532) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220759)

Your forgetting what starts your car engine (battery)

Re:convert to electric, quick! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220963)

You can pushstart a car to start it.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221009)

Unless you've got an immobiliser installed.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (0)

BagOBones (574735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220765)

Too bad they stuck computers in all of the gasoline cars, non of them work after an emp pulse ether.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220799)

Wouldn't the amount of electronics in today's cars render them vulnerable as well?

Or do we only have to worry about EMP in that regard?

Either way, the production and transport of gasoline will be impacted as well, obviously. I wouldn't be surprised if the government nationalized all the gasoline reserves just to make sure they've got enough to power the Humvees that would surely be dispersed all over the United States in this scenario. I imagine Martial Law would be declared nationally pretty soon after a disaster of this magnitude.

Re:convert to electric, quick! (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221227)

Solar storms do not resemble EMPs. [slashdot.org]

But, like you said - all the other infrastructure that would release magic smoke will certainly cause more than enough trouble.

Not that old trick! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220727)

“Unless you give me 1 Bn USD in grant money to Nuke the other side of the sun, you will face ruin!” :0)

By Any Other Name (5, Funny)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220747)

So, is "privately employed solar scientist" a euphemism for "crackpot scientist"?

Re:By Any Other Name (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220899)

No, you're thinking of 'self-employed climatoligical ethicist'

Re:By Any Other Name (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220903)

It was that Climatologist or convert to Scientologist.

at least he has standards.

Re:By Any Other Name (2)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221007)

Well,

"privately employed"

suggests that he is in the employ of some entity which derives income from some source.

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest it is from something that you would want to alleviate your share of the potential trillion dollar damage bill.

If only :) (2, Insightful)

giampy (592646) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220771)

Actually a 1T$ investment to rebuild all the electrical infrastructure would be just great both for the infrastructure AND for the economy.

Re:If only :) (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221025)

if you believe the broken window fallacy.

I somehow can't believe that destroying trillions of dollars worth of real goods/ wealth is going to make us better off. but hey keep listening to the Keynesians. they predicted the crash.... oh wait, they didn't. they explained the crash... Oh wait, they didn't do that either. they have since fixed the crash with the50k plus per American that they prescribed.... oh wait, that didn't work either.

Re:If only :) (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221249)

Well, at least it will give us all something to do :P

Re:If only :) (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221075)

That's the broken window fallacy [wikipedia.org] . It would immediately suck $1Trillion out of the economy that would have been spent other ways, it would prevent a lot of useful work from being done while the infrastructure was down, and it would most likely be rebuilt in a crappy, haphazard way, not in some nice, well-designed way that would make everything better.

Re:If only :) (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221287)

Not to mention how much it would suck for the rest of the economy to not have electricity for a few years; and not to mention how hard it is to rebuild all that stuff when you don't have electricity.

Re:If only :) (1, Insightful)

DreadPiratePizz (803402) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221241)

Broken window fallacy.

Plumbing? (2)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220773)

Has plumbing really become dependent on electronic control systems? Or does this phenomenon somehow affect gravity too?

Re:Plumbing? (1)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220821)

I would think that electronically controlled sewage treatment plants are at risk. Most people don't think about where their poo goes, but once it starts going nowhere, it will pile up very quick for communities.

Re:Plumbing? (5, Funny)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220955)

I would think that electronically controlled sewage treatment plants are at risk. Most people don't think about where their poo goes, but once it starts going nowhere, it will pile up very quick for communities.

That's alright, I live on top of a hill.

Re:Plumbing? (3, Funny)

Roberticus (1237374) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221285)

I would think that electronically controlled sewage treatment plants are at risk. Most people don't think about where their poo goes, but once it starts going nowhere, it will pile up very quick for communities.

That would make this hypothetical event a literal shitstorm.

Re:Plumbing? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220863)

Has plumbing really become dependent on electronic control systems? Or does this phenomenon somehow affect gravity too?

Plumbing consists of pipes running for long distances in straight lines (i.e. antennas). Magnetic storms can cause currents to run through these pipes resulting in electrical damage. In addition, for buried pipes, the magnetic storm can cause their relative voltage to shift, resulting in massive corrosion. This is of particular concern with respect to oil and gas pipelines.

Re:Plumbing? (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221223)

Has plumbing really become dependent on electronic control systems? Or does this phenomenon somehow affect gravity too?

Rivers will still flow, if that's what you are talking about. And if you have an elevated storage tank or around your house, you'll be alright for a while. But municipal water systems require electrical power to clean water, pressurize the pipe network, operate distribution valves, and treat sewage. Out in the boonies most folks have a well, which generally requires electricity, too.

With a bit of luck... (4, Funny)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220781)

...a Solar eclipse will happen at this very time.

Re:With a bit of luck... (1)

Cstryon (793006) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221109)

An eclipse by an asteroid...Would be both awesome....and the suck.

Maybe they should save us with Gamemaker. (3, Insightful)

GmExtremacy (2579091) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220787)

Using Gamemaker, they can put off the problem with its extreme slowness.

If it WERE true (3, Funny)

dmomo (256005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220793)

I would retitle this submission "One in twenty chance of naturally-caused
  economic stimulus by 2020".

Re:If it WERE true (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221199)

You should ask Japan how effective the "economic stimulus" from their earthquake/tsunami has been working out for them. Or ask Thailand about their floods. Or ask Florida about how much good old Hurricane Andrew pumped up their economy.

I mean, if your post were modded Funny instead of Insightful that would be one thing...

Be Prepared... (5, Funny)

jolyonr (560227) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220807)

Print out your porn.

Re:Be Prepared... (1)

ah.clem (147626) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220927)

MOD THIS UP!!

Re:Be Prepared... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220949)

Print out your porn.

is that post somehow related to your sig?

Warning. This message has been created in a facility that also handles peanuts.

Re:Be Prepared... (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221005)

Do you know how much space a single hour of hires porn takes when converted into a flip-book? And how am I supposed to flip said book while perusing it in the intended manner? True preppers stash at least one concubine together with the dried food and the ammo.

Re:Be Prepared... (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221275)

Bonus points: if the shit really hits the fan, the concubine could serve as an emergency food source.

As bait. Really. Not what you're thinking, you sick freak! :P

A lot of confusion. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220811)

I think a lot of people are very confused.

This won't directly break your car or your computer. It affects long runs of conductive cable.

It will break power distribution and telecom. It might break your computer if it's plugged in, but absolutely will not break your computer if it is not plugged in. Likewise with cars. If you own an electric car, just hope that it's unplugged when this happens.

Re:A lot of confusion. (3, Insightful)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220851)

Likewise, it will not break satellites if they're unplugged?

Re:A lot of confusion. (2)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221145)

If you live in the UK, South Africa or Australia, then just turn the wall switch of your satellite off, but if you live in the USA or Europe, then please unplug the lead from the wall and don't forget to roll up the 30,000km power cord...

Re:A lot of confusion. (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221299)

Nope - because satellites don't get all the protections of being in the atmosphere. They get raw solar radiation.

Down here in the dirt, it's only the (relatively) low frequency stuff that makes it through - and that's the stuff that long runs of wire pick up (or any long conductor - metallic piping could potentially pick it up too)

If they are lower in orbit, they are still at risk - since the EM of the Earth actually focuses the incoming radiation into bands/layers that the satellite might pass through. Think "ant under a magnifying glass".

Re:A lot of confusion. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220867)

It might break your computer if it's plugged in, but absolutely will not break your computer if it is not plugged in.

What if I've got a UPS/surge protector?

Re:A lot of confusion. (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221051)

Actually, any electronic device can blow without it being plugged into an outlet. Electronics can receive high voltage from electro magnetic waves in the air, which can overload capacitors. There are already devices on the market that use similar technology to charge electronics without wires. Not to mention the effects an EMP would have on magnetic media, such as Hard Drives, Tapes, SSD/Flash memory. I'm sure if the earth was exposed to a strong enough EMP, it would take out 90% of electronics.

Re:A lot of confusion. (2)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221229)

A solar flare is not an EMP. It would only take out things that have long stretches of conductive material, like the power lines.

Re:A lot of confusion. (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221243)

This won't directly break your car or your computer. It affects long runs of conductive cable.

It will break power distribution and telecom.

Well, gosh, I guess that's alright then. I mean, who in this day and age needs the power distribution and telecom networks.

Re:A lot of confusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221273)

From the EMP Commission's 2008 report (page 115):

"Approximately 10 percent or more of the automobiles exposed to higher field levels may experience serious EMP effects, including engine stall, that require driver intervention to correct. We further expect that at least two out of three automobiles on the road will manifest some nuisance response at these higher field levels. The serious malfunctions could trigger car crashes on U.S. highways; the nuisance malfunctions could exacerbate this condition. The ultimate result of automobile EMP exposure could be triggered crashes that damage many more vehicles than are damaged by the EMP, the consequent loss of life, and multiple injuries."

Forgive me, but... (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220823)

I've heard every other year that there's going to be a devastating solar storm that will change electronics forever, or whatnot.
I'm almost as tired of hearing this as I am of hearing the constant "We solved the energy crisis!" stories.

Re:Forgive me, but... (1)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220999)

just like all the other doomsayers, one time they might actually get it right by pure chance and then everyone will have forgotten about all the other times they were wrong.

Re:Forgive me, but... (3, Informative)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221295)

The difference is that this sort of thing has happened before [wikipedia.org] , and not that long ago (1859).

"Telegraph systems all over Europe and North America failed, in some cases even shocking telegraph operators. Telegraph pylons threw sparks and telegraph paper spontaneously caught fire."

The world was much less wired in 1859 than it is today. At a minimum, the power grid would be fried for months. I certainly wouldn't want to live somewhere like the Southwest part of the US, where if the power is gone you can't get water and the gas pumps stop working, so you can't go somewhere else.

BS Flag (5, Interesting)

jasnw (1913892) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220839)

OK, I throw the BS flag all over this one. I've been in this business (space weather) for over 40 years, and one of the biggest problems in the whole field are these "OMG the F-ing SKY is FALLING" pronouncements from self-proclaimed space weather experts (or NASA scientists, which is just sad). What this guy has done is a typical "lies, damn lies, and statistics" analysis of the worst sort, and he even kinda admits this with the caveat at the end of TFA's abstract in Space Weather. This is not to say that a big Carrington-magnitude storm came along it wouldn't cause havoc, it most certainly will, but there's only been one of these in our recorded history. That seems to fall well outside the realm of useable predictability. It's in a class of problems the weather service folks who try to predict 100-year floods know all too well. If you only see one instance of something in your record, at best you can say that you get one of those beasts every record-length/2 years (if that). This guy is just blowing smoke to advertise his business.

Re:BS Flag (4, Informative)

rndmtim (664101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220967)

There was an event in the 1920's (less than the 1859 event) and another in the 1990's (less than the 1920's event but it took down pieces of the Quebec grid). Doesn't do anything to help measure the frequency of the 1859 level events. Also, it kind of doesn't matter, since power facilities like the one I work at are required to prepare for things like the "maximum possible flood" not a "500 year flood". If your sample set has at least one of these, and we can't quantify it to be say less than a 1 in 10000 - and we certainly can't - then we should be working on this problem. Not as if the sky is falling, but we've been working on changing out some stuff in my plant for a decade, so we definitely should get on it, since remediation is going to take a long time, and the consequences would be very bad.

Re:BS Flag (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221207)

Also, it kind of doesn't matter, since power facilities like the one I work at are required to prepare for things like the "maximum possible flood" not a "500 year flood".

Noah could have saved himself a lot of trouble by just crashing at your facility instead of building an ark.

Re:BS Flag (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220981)

Is there good data for storm frequency segmented by size? If there is, it would seem fairly straightforward to estimate the probability of outsize events.

Re:BS Flag (2)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221039)

Well, it is dubious at best to put a number on it like the guy did, but we know for certain that a) Carrington events happen and b) our infrastructure is not set up to handle it. Given the possible catastrophic consequences, it is at least prudent to consider how to handle such an event.

Re:BS Flag (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221095)

Your analogy is like many businesses who fail to backup their data because they think a disaster isn't going to happen to them. We've only been using computers for the past 50 years, and computers today are far more susceptible to damage than ever before. Everyone ignores the danger until it hits them, happens all the time.

Serious question here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220843)

If such an event occurred, it would only harm electronics that are presently operating when 'E-M' surge hits them, right? Un-powered electronics would not be effected, correct?

If that is the case, why not just unplug everything? Satellites are obviously out of the question.

How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (1)

logicCenter (2587075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220847)

This kind of event is going to knock anything out that can conduct electricity. The telegraph lines overloaded and caught fire in 1859. Your data isn't safe, if it's on a hard drive, CD, SSDs, the cloud etc.

I can almost see people selling space in deep underground caves for people to put their data in.

In a similar vein on what they are selling for nuclear/world destruction. http://www.terravivos.com/secure/solution.htm [terravivos.com]

At the end of the day, there isn't a hole deep enough with the ability to self sustain long enough to evade what nature has in store. So let's just deal with it if and when it happens!

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220933)

At the end of the day, there isn't a hole deep enough with the ability to self sustain long enough to evade what nature has in store.

Is it just me, or is this comment crying out for a goatse link ?

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (1)

logicCenter (2587075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39220997)

At the end of the day, there isn't a hole deep enough with the ability to self sustain long enough to evade what nature has in store.

Is it just me, or is this comment crying out for a goatse link ?

Not intending to, just making an example. Their website is ridiculous, you can tell they are targeting the most obsessively worried clientele. The business of the world ending just doesn't seem to end.

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (2)

SDrag0n (532175) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221049)

I could be wrong (I wasn't ever a huge fan of studying physics) but from my basic engineering physics class, wouldn't a Faraday cage block this?

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (2)

logicCenter (2587075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221139)

I could be wrong (I wasn't ever a huge fan of studying physics) but from my basic engineering physics class, wouldn't a Faraday cage block this?

Yeah, that's what most hardening entails. For example,your hard drive is encased fully by metal, but that little circuit board underneath it isn't. Another thing that I have no way of speculating on is just how much energy will be raining down, it could just vaporize the Faraday cage if there's enough energy behind it. That would be intense for sure.

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (2)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221107)

"This kind of event is going to knock anything out that can conduct electricity. The telegraph lines overloaded and caught fire in 1859. Your data isn't safe, if it's on a hard drive, CD, SSDs, the cloud etc."

Why are CDs on that list? CDs do not use electricity or magnetism.

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221219)

This kind of event is going to knock anything out that can conduct electricity. The telegraph lines overloaded and caught fire in 1859. Your data isn't safe, if it's on a hard drive, CD, SSDs, the cloud etc.

CDs conduct electricity?

Re:How Ridiculous do you Want to be? (1)

logicCenter (2587075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221233)

This kind of event is going to knock anything out that can conduct electricity. The telegraph lines overloaded and caught fire in 1859. Your data isn't safe, if it's on a hard drive, CD, SSDs, the cloud etc.

CDs conduct electricity?

Ever put one in a microwave?

I thank you for 70ur time (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220941)

practical 4urposes, DocumEnts like a

100% chance of Slashdot having useless articles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220957)

Seriously, since Taco left this site has gone straight to hell.

Enough with the worthless stupid crap articles, or I
delete the bookmark and find a better way to waste
my spare time.

Obama has done worse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39220987)

Psh, that's nothing next to the the $4.5 trillion in debt, nearly 1/3 pf the total current debt, Obama alone has shackled our country with in the last 3 years. We need to impeach this traitor.

Repent, repent! (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221101)

The world is going to end tomorrow! Repent, repent...

Can we grab tons of energy? (1)

GerardAtJob (1245980) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221127)

I don't know what I'm talking about at all, since physics isn't my field at all, but could it be possible to use this event to capture insane amount of energy?

1 trillion. Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39221131)

I'm putting 10 to 1 odds on most of that money being due to being unable to trade on the stock market during that time.

At which point I say 'good'.

Bank, credit card? (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221159)

So do our financial institutions take measures to keep our finance data safe?
Because if we are really talking about every single HDD on earth being destroyed normal data protection techniques are not going to work.
And if that actually happened I don't think civilization would survive.

Doomsday Preppers - The Next Gen Gamer (0)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221177)

They will be laughing at all of the people who laughed at them now when the solar storm hits and they have plenty of food to eat. Of course it will be nothing but canned beans and MREs so the gas they produce will make them as undesireable as a 40 something gamer who lives intheir parent's basement.

Not to mention while all our video game consoles are wiped out by the solar EMP the "preppers" will be playing a very realistic First Person Shooter game. One where they sit on their property and blow the heads off the starving hordes from the cities who manage to make it past their property lines.

So the Next Gen of Gamers will be the Doomsday Preppers who are well prepared.

It's the hollywood version! (1)

sqldr (838964) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221235)

which resulted in breathtaking aurorae across the United States and other temperate regions of the globe.

because the aliens always attack new york first!

Looking on the bright side (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39221251)

There's an almost 90% chance that it won't.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?